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Ruins of the Earth

By: Christopher Hopper,J. N. Chaney
Narrated by: R.C. Bray
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Publisher's Summary

A secret buried in the Antarctic. A puzzle unsolved for thousands of years.

And a Brooklyn-born master gunnery sergeant who's royally pissed that he has to babysit the researchers sent to figure it all out. Patrick "Wic" Finnegan's last op as a Marine Raider before retirement sends him to the frozen Ellsworth Subglacial Highlands. The only reason he's here? He owes a favor to an old friend, but that doesn't mean he has to like it. 

When Wic finally sees what the team has uncovered, he can't believe his eyes, nor is he prepared for the violence to come. Soon, the portal opens and unleashes a storm of unbridled fury upon humanity. 

From the Antarctic tundra to the streets of Manhattan, Wic and his team will be pushed to their limits as they fight to hold back Earth's ultimate threat. The odds are against them. Governments are toppling. And the Earth is falling into ruin. 

Join best-selling authors Christopher Hopper and J.N. Chaney on what audiences call a "nonstop, break-neck thrill ride into metaspace". For fans of District 9, Expeditionary Force, and Galaxy's Edge, this is one military sci-fi thriller you won't be able to put down, and the official beginning to the hit series Ruins of the Galaxy.

©2020 Variant Publications (P)2021 Podium Audio

What listeners say about Ruins of the Earth

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A video game that accidentally became a book

Let’s start with RC Bray’s earthy performance which, as always, rates highly. I had only one word to add the long list of words with more than three syllables that Mr Bray can’t pronounce. That word was “protractor.”

I thought I’d found another word but I had to widen my distaste to the whole of the US when, on checking, I found that Americans pronounce “cuneiform” as Bray did. We’ll just chalk that up to a lack of literary culture in the 19th century when US English was still in its formative years, a state of affairs that hasn’t much changed.

Oh, and Mr Bray can’t do John Cleese. It starts off well with an accent resembling the Arguments Clinic sketch but then veers around touching Danny Kaye, John Oliver, Oliver Twist, and Boston Irish along its path. We will forgive him that.

Calling this “military science fiction” is an insult to the genre of science fiction and to science everywhere. “American military fantasy” is a better description.

Let’s start with the implausible introduction on which the whole plot hangs. We are told that a master gunnery sergeant and a few Americans, Russians and Brits, armed only with peashooters, have been put in charge of Earth defences in a first contact scenario. And for some reason, scientists are running the show with occasional input from the CIA. The scientists are so naive that they fail to take even the most basic precautions against meeting nasty aliens. The obvious ensues.

Spoilers ahead...

We then meet aggressive robots, droids, and aliens. For some reason, and despite a mastery of quantum physics, star travel, sentient robots, and an excess of energy, there is a galactic market for human slaves. These slaves can serve as salty snacks for the aliens in a pinch, but they apparently have some other useful functions such that the aliens want to collect billions of them to sell. Business 101 SWAT analysis is definitely required.

Anyway, despite their advanced technology, the humans are fortunate that the aliens still like to fight up close and personal, using armour that can be breached with the right attitude using high-powered human weapons which thoughtful, ex-military preppers keep stored in their garages.

Much more useful is our hero’s fortuitous breaching of the alien’s weapons system thanks to the aliens’ neglect of basic firewall security and their thoughtfulness in providing an English speech interface to the weapon AI.

The rest is just a series of stretch targets for our lovable team of highly professional warriors. We get recycled plots from other stories including wry AIs (you have downloaded a John Cleese personality and the Disney movies but you don’t know what a flounder is?!) and Russian mafia markers (what, no pooch?!).

I listened to the end but have no desire to hear any more. My brain might die.

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15 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

rip-off of the xforce series

I would say it's basically a rip off of expeditionary force. sounds like skippy and Joe

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Another riveting franchise series

Another riveting franchise series, that i await with baited breath for the next book.

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fantastic mix of action and characters

if you love expeditionary force or the galaxys edge series you will love this. a good mix of humour and action that keeps your attention and makes you not want to put it away. as always R.C Bray is perfect and the best narrator for these types of Sci fi adventure books.

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2 people found this helpful

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Awsome Action

Great book, lots of action and comedy adds! Similar to the Stargate series so Awsome listening! Great voice for reading Audio books!

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The most hilarious Earth Invasion ever

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Very original and so funny. Lost count of how many times I laughed Have an entirely new respect for Flounder now. The action just kept rolling nice not to have to listen to fillers which seem to be common these days

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Wow

Wow good solid story love the banter between characters the flow of the story awsome a must read buying the rest of series asap

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Dumb ass wick

I love the stories I just can’t stand the dumbness of the main characters. This with Guy is as dumb as the expeditionary main character.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Compelling

Great story hard to put down and as always fantastic narration by RC Bray. Looking forward to the next book in this series.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Expo Force

But with a rifles instead of a beer can. First instalment very enjoyable, well paced, a good listen. Onto the next one!

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  • Jeremy Korpi
  • 06-04-2021

I really wanted to like this.

Imagine if Craig Alanson wrote expeditionary force while in middle school. Same characters, same basic plot, just not as good. if not for RC Bray, I think I would have turned it off. I will not be continuing this series.

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  • MLT78
  • 30-03-2021

Suspenseful military story with great characters.

This book series is part of the RUINS (Ruins of the Galaxy) book universe. This book can be read before or after you have read the other series. This series is starting off with more focus on the “military” aspect of the mil sci-fi than Ruins of the Galaxy.

It is written in a way that keeps the suspense high. It is gritty at times and has an incredibly “realistic feel” for it being sci-fi.

The characters are done very well. They are interesting, realistic, quirky, flawed, and entertaining. Each one seems unique, has depth, and we already see some character development in book one. Many sci-fi books focus on story rather than character development but this book equally places importance on both.

A fun start to a new series!

And RC Bray kills it as usual.

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63 people found this helpful

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  • General Tso
  • 02-04-2021

Expeditionary Force, but completely on Earth

Even has Skippy the Magnificent! Um... I mean, "Sir Chuck the gun".

As always, RC Bray is amazing.

However I expect the authors either got Craig Alanson's permission or are expecting a law suit.

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  • rob stover
  • 05-04-2021

Plagiarism? Or Skippy & Nagatha light.

You get a few hours into this otherwise promising story and run head first into an AI character amazingly similar to Skippy/Nagatha from another series by C. Alanson. Oops! So I am returning the book.

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55 people found this helpful

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  • Michelle Allen
  • 04-04-2021

I love RC Bray but...

Not sure he was the best choice for this book. Given the premise of this book and some of RC’s vocalizations, some Characters were too close to Expeditionary Force for my liking. It’s a fun listen but I felt it was a rip off of EF.

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35 people found this helpful

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  • Steve Janulin
  • 30-03-2021

The bar has been raised!!!

Unlike most Sci-Fi thrillers, this one takes place right here in our own back yard. Starting at the South Pole, moving through the rural country side of eastern Pensylvania, through New Jersey, Staten Island, and into the heart of Manhattan. The author has spared no detail to make you feel as if you are right there in the middle of all the action.

With a new batch of characters, and very authentic action scenes, mixed with humor and twists and turns, this book will keep you on edge from start until finish.

Topped with the voice talents of the legendary R.C. Bray, this is one thrill ride you absolutely do not want to miss.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-04-2021

Disappointed

Stereotypical characters and predictable events made this book difficult to listen to . If it wasn’t for R.C Bray’s excellent narration I would have turned it off.

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  • Lanie and Alex
  • 19-05-2021

Too cliche, too derivative, couldn’t finish

Listen, I like both these authors but this was just not up to par for them. This is supposed to be realistic in terms of the military characters, at least that’s how it seems to be written. I’m not former military but I can tell you that just because you were in, doesn’t mean you’re going to have access to military grade comms equipment, weapons, explosives, etc, when you retire. The protagonist is frustratingly dense in both his reluctance to accept the fact that earth is being invaded by aliens as well as being cliche in his interaction with technology. I’m just a little tired of the “I’m an old man in my thirties/forties and I don’t understand or trust all this new fangled technology that I’ve been living with and around for most of my adult life” trope. Also, there are just too many similarities to other popular contemporary military science fictions out there and borders on the cringy when the “Skippy/Bishop” plot development begins. I’m just disappointed because the meat of this story had the potential to be fun, compelling, and original but got bogged down by what one could call paying tribute and another would call intellectual theft. Sorry friends, try something else.

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  • Eric
  • 31-03-2021

Bray is King

Once again, RC Bray graces us with his stupendous vocal talents. Prepare yourselves, Monkeys! Another adventure is upon us, but this time it's a whole new universe. And boy, what a story. I love the ancient civilization stuff, the aliens, and the mystery of Antarctica. Can't get enough!

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  • K. Culleton
  • 09-05-2021

A ripoff novel

It starts out well enough, but becomes a blatant second rate rewrite of Expeditionary Force by Craig Alanson. The AI interaction is just silly.

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  • Craigy Gerrard
  • 31-03-2021

ooooohhhhh...copywrite claim inbound !!!!

SPOILER ALERT...A third of the way through and really enjoying the story even more so the writing...
But yet again writers have stolen the skippy'' narrative and turned him into a gun with a SMYTHE accent...
Anybody who has read EXPEDITIONARY FORCE series is going to pan this one !!!!
R.C.BRAY gives another masterful performance , he deserves his mansion yought and ferrari, he even adds an extra star to the overall but i just cant get skippy out of my head,,,
Unless theres a RUINS-EX FORFCE mash up later on in the series its just plain theft!!!!!

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  • R
  • 25-05-2021

A copyright lawsuit surely?

While there is lots to like and some great characters... It is a blatant copy of another very successful book series. Not even a vague resemblance, exactly the same in many respects. How can this be allowed? Didn't even give the AI a different accent or character.
I am left in shock at the bare faced cheek.
To be honest.. I only got it for R C Bray, who I have a weird voice crush on.. But even so. He must have been uncomfortable reading it.
R C Bray.. If you read this, in the UK in 'Twat' is pronounced 'Twat' (like 'mat') , not 'Twot' ... Just saying. Otherwise, keep doing what you do x

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  • Adam Smith
  • 17-04-2021

Expeditionary Force Rip-off

If you enjoyed expeditionary force this book will either annoy you or feel like a familiar safety blanket, made all the more strange by having the same narrator.

Skippy in the form of a gun, with the same voice, same snarky attitude, narrated by the same narrator. Complete with its own version of Bishop and a similar premise ....

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-05-2021

Same horse different jockey

If you read the other reviews you will notice that there is a common theme, that the AI is a lot like skippy the magnificent.

Although the story is a great way to lose yourself it certainly has many aspects that mirror the Expeditionary Force by Craig Alanson.

On several occasions I had to check to see if it was the same author.

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  • D Lbenb
  • 04-04-2021

Terrible

What showed so much promise is totally spoiled by quirky AI. I got half way through this before I could no longer tolerate it. Great shame when two talented authors come up with such a stupid story line. My advice is to avoid this. A pity a great narrator like RC Bray has to waste his great skill on this nonsense.

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  • Britt
  • 29-05-2021

Plagerising at it's best

I came to this book for RC and I stayed for the same reason. Craig Alanson should send the Mavericks to sort these writers out and if they need help, the SG creators can be invited along. Totally one dimensional character development. So stereotypical all across the board I had to fast forward often but of course felt disrespectful of Mr Bray. wow, this was so sad. I also listened to it after having just finished Andy Weir's latest, Hail Mary, which was an outstanding and unique story, so falling into this felt especially tragic.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon
  • 07-04-2021

That you Skippy?

If Skippy was a gun..still great tho despite what feels like a different take on a much loved story

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark “Tom” Clancy
  • 29-04-2021

Excellent mil sci-fi audiobook

As a fan of mil sci-fi I have high expectations and this book met them all, great story, excellent characters, good attention to detail and the right blend of humour and action without you thinking it is trying too hard. Whilst I know this is a prequel series you do not need any prior knowledge to get to grips with this story.

RC Bray knocks it out of the park again with his vocal talents, bringing Christoper Hopper/JN Chaney’s words to life, but I do not want to do them any injustice as this is an excellent book and would be great in whatever format written or spoken, and I for one cannot wait to listen to the next instalment.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-04-2021

Too much BeerCan

I loved Ruins of the Galaxy with its hiena - like Ancients, so probably my expectations were too high.
Unfortunately this production could not meet them.
I found the story way too similar to ExFor, and what bothers me most, is that You guys can do much, much better.
R. C. was brilliant, as always, but éven his "Sir Charles" sounded annoyingly too much like a certain BeerCan.

I'm a bit disappointed :(

3 stars max, sorry!

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  • Denise Caffrey
  • 15-04-2021

Loved it!

I enjoyed this story from start to finish, I look forward to the next instalment

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